Saturday, December 15, 2012

How much cleavage must one show?

Hard bargaining is a way of life in India. If the cost of a product is X, then, in the buying process, the customer might start bargaining from exactly 50% of the price of the product, scaling up to 60 – 70% of the price and finally strike the final blow, by threatening to leave without buying the product if it can’t be delivered at that price. The salesman at this point agrees to the customer. He too, has marked up the price by 25% knowing that he will face a hard bargain come hell come high water.

This entire process has seen the customer and the salesman engaged with each other for a good 15 minutes, which can be said to be a waste of time.

Traditionally, the salesman arrived with his goods to the Indian home, threw it open to everyone in the family to choose from, then, it finally came to the head of the family to make the purchase. The process may have had the salesman, strike a large deal albeit having spent an enormous amount of time with the family, sometimes even sharing a meal with the purchaser. It was time invested in the family, knowing that there would be repeat sales here, over time.

In the present day scenario, when the purchaser must go to the sales outlet, it is upto the salesman to decide how much of cleavage he must show, to make the sales happen in minutes or let it pass.

The difference is between crass and class. In the case of the former, one might start on a high price and end up pulling it down sizably, thereby, showing a lot more than what was asked for. But, in the latter, one would put a price and not move from it, not allowing bargain at all. So the pricing becomes suggestive of a certain class which says politely this much and no more.

If a magazine whose only income comes from the advertisements it receives, says no to ads which are more than five in the magazine, it shows it belongs to a certain class. Readers will have more reading material than have to sieve through page upon page of advertisements, they did not pay for. This is classy. The advertiser may pay a higher price for the ad in such a magazine, but is going to be noticed and perhaps read and acted upon, than a magazine full of so many ads, that the reader thrashes all the ads, including most of the magazine.

This is the point of smart selling - less always mean more, while more is an often an underachiever in the long run.

Coming back to our point, how much cleavage must one show? Would you prefer to reveal just enough to keep the desire going, or would you reveal it all, and end the desire for more in a one-time sales, or repeat low-priced sales, is the question every salesman must ask? What is preferred - Class or crass? Can we afford to sell apples at the price of bananas?

Think while you watch:

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